Suppose you are the owner of a company that has been operating in a certain field for several years, you have designed your logo and introduced your brand to the public from the very beginning.
Now, a lot of time has passed since the start of your activity and many companies have entered the field and become strong competitors for you. If you continue your activity as before and do not think about changing your strategy in the market, you will be out of the competition.
One of the ways to attract customers and take over the market is rebranding or rebuilding the brand name.
You need to make changes to your strategy (such as your vision, mission, and values) and convey them to your customers through a rebrand.
Rebuilding the brand can be a complete change of the brand or minor changes such as changing the color or adding or subtracting a part of the image.
In the following, you will get acquainted with branding, brand reconstruction and all the points related to brand reconstruction:
Table of Contents
What is branding?
Branding is a strategic and creative process that tells potential customers where your company is, who you are, what you care about, why they should work with you, and what you expect from them, once they have created a business or creating your first product, creating a business identity should be your first priority.
Branding clarifies everything about what you do and how you do it, making it a memorable and unique entity that people will remember and associate with your company consistently. Think of the golden arches of McDonald’s or the multi-colored rings on the Olympic emblems. Even a simple symbol or image can convey meaningful communications to the world.
Your brand is the way the world outside of your company perceives you.
Your brand is the process of designing and building a unique and memorable brand.
Your brand identity is a collection of creative elements that play a part in the branding process (such as your website, social media, and logo) that convey your message, values, and purpose.
Start defining your brand by asking yourself these questions:
Who are you as a company? What makes you unique from other brands?
What is your brand mission statement? What gives it purpose? What are your values? Who is your ideal customer? Knowing exactly who you are is the first step in creating a meaningful brand.
What is rebranding?
Rebranding is the process of changing the look and feel of a company or product. Rebranding occurs when a company changes its logo, slogan, vision, mission, values, name, target audience, or market to create a new brand identity in the minds of leaders, customers, competitors, and partners. It helps brands attract new audiences, stay relevant, stand out from the competition and promote brand awareness.
However, if it is not done properly, it can be disastrous for the company.
A rebranding process done wrong can disconnect a company from its loyal customers. In fact, it can even destroy the meaning of your entire brand.
When is rebranding necessary?
There are several conditions that make rebranding an option to improve brand performance. Here are the most common ones:
To change the perception: As we all know, the brand is not what the owner says but what the consumers say. Sometimes, a brand is not perceived the way the owner wants it to be. In this case, rebranding is necessary to change the perception of the brand.
Logo looks dated: If a logo was designed years ago to follow a certain trend, it may now turn away potential consumers and employees with its outdated look. If your brand is a vintage-oriented product, this may be intentional and branding. If not, your brand’s market share will suffer.
Negative cultural associations: Often, when a brand goes global, it finds that its name, color, or other aspect is associated with negativity or inappropriateness in the countries or cultures when the expansion occurs. In this case, changes must be made in order for the brand name to be accepted in the new market.
Product Line Changes: When products are added, removed, or changed, the brand name or appearance may no longer represent those new products.
Competitive Difficulties: When competitors move forward with market share and mind share, a brand may need to further differentiate itself from that competition in order to regain lost ground. This is equivalent to re-branding with the aim of attracting (or re-attracting) a larger part of the target audience.
Social awareness: Brands are usually pressured by consumers, communities, government agencies or markets to become more socially and environmentally aware. After making the appropriate changes, they sometimes find that their brand no longer represents a greener or socially conscious company. And so, rebranding is in order.
Mistakes in original branding: Perhaps a brand was created without proper target audience research. Or maybe it’s focused on the wrong audience. No matter the reason, sometimes brands just don’t represent the needs of their ideal customers. In this case, brand restructuring, with extensive research and attention to the problems and needs of the ideal customer, should be adopted.
Changing customer needs: People change and so do their problems, pains and needs. When this happens (usually due to a shift in culture, technology, or lifestyle within a focus group), rebranding may be necessary to reach those people in a meaningful way.
Shift in Focus: When markets force brands to change their offerings or audiences, their brands must follow suit to remain competitive. For example, a computer manufacturer may find that more mature consumers are using computers, or a nail salon may be interested in getting more men interested in manicures and pedicures. Now, for any reason, a shift must be provided by changing the brand name.
Bankruptcy: Some forms of financial restructuring benefit from (or require) rebranding.
Past violations: For example, if the brand needs to improve its reputation due to poor customer service, poor quality products, or late deliveries, it may consider rebranding. It will be a “fresh start, fresh brand” for those familiar with the brand and for those not yet familiar with it.
Upmarketing: Whenever a utilitarian product becomes more useful in the luxury market, or any brand is upgraded to appeal to a more discerning audience (at a higher price), then a new brand name is needed to speak to this new market. The reverse also applies (when luxury goods become available (and affordable) to a wider audience).
Unforeseen emergencies: Since the world is full of uncertainty, there is always the threat of unforeseen situations like bankruptcy, legal problems, bad reputation etc. that no brand can plan for in advance. Rebranding can help almost any brand overcome volatility and adapt to the current situation. If the brand takes a hard fall due to an unforeseen event, a long-term brand can be its savior.
Types of brand reconstruction
Reconstruction of the partial brand and the whole brand
Before you begin, you need to determine what type of rebranding strategy you need.
This strategy is used when you decide to add something new without completely changing your existing brand. Refreshing is necessary when your company’s logo and image are outdated or your business goals have changed a little. Here you can see Apple logo updates from 1976 to today.
Changing the entire business brand
This option is used when your company undergoes a major change such as a merger, change in leadership, product overhaul, etc. As a result, your brand needs to make changes to its brand identity along with its mission, vision and business values. Here comes a complete change.
How to rebuild a company’s brand
Redefine your audience and target market
Rethink your vision, mission, and values
Rethink your company name
Modify your brand slogan
Re-establish your brand identity
Once you’ve decided whether you need a partial or total rebranding strategy, carefully review the following steps to implement this strategy in your business.
- Redefine your audience and target market
Do research to understand your target audience, what your competitors are doing, what is unique about your brand and how it differs from other companies in the same industry.
In-depth research, including focus groups and data analysis, will allow you to find out whether customers and competitors resonate with your idea. Identify real buyers and their preferences. Compare this data with your target market and primary audience to spot some differences. As soon as you manage to define your real market and audience, you can proceed with your strategy.
- Rethink your vision, mission, and values
Every company has three main elements you need to evaluate: mission, vision, and values. Analyze each one to find out what went wrong.
Vision gives direction to your brand and defines the actions your company should take. Over time, your business landscape may change, and that’s perfectly normal. However, to ensure that your employees are moving in the right direction and making decisions accordingly, you need to redefine your vision.
Mission: This defines your company’s purpose. Your mission describes your primary consumers, the products you produce, and your location. This is your business roadmap. As your mission changes, so does your messaging.
Values. Your company’s values explain why you strive to achieve your vision and why you are committed to your mission. As brands evolve, they may change their old values. So you need to reflect your new values to show your core focus.
Remember, if the components mentioned above change, the way they communicate with their audience will also need to change. The language you use, tone and voice should match the message you want to convey.
- Revise your company name
Of course, changing a company name is a serious step as it can cost your brand recognition and organic traffic. However, if you are seriously considering changing your brand name, make sure that after rebranding, do you have a recovery plan?
Make sure your new brand name conveys your message, is easy to spell and catchy. The right name also supports your business goals and growth.
- Modify your brand slogan
Your goal here is to create a slogan that communicates your company’s mission and vision while also being memorable. Carefully consider what your branding purpose will highlight.
Sure, customers remember catchy slogans from famous brands like “Just Do It” from Nike, “I’m Lovin’ It” from McDonald’s, or “Because You’re Worth It” from L’Oreal. To create a great tagline, consider giving instructions, making a claim, using a metaphor or using poetic language.
- Re-establish your brand identity
There are many things you can change about your company’s brand identity, such as logos, shapes, images, colors or guidelines. Here are several changes you need to make.
Change your logo
If you’ve made some internal changes at your company and want to showcase them, consider a new logo. To properly refresh your old logo, use these principles:
Show your confidence by creating a simple logo.
Create a logo that stands out
Use universal shapes and styles that fit your communication channels.
Make sure your new logo supports your mission, vision and values in the long run.
Try using parts of your old logo to help customers identify your brand.
Use different colors
According to a Maryland study, colors drive 80% brand awareness. Therefore, color affects your customers and your brand.
Take a fresh look at your company color to decide if it fits your brand image. In addition, today it is necessary to examine how to display the color palette on the screen and in print. Make sure it is the same in different brand materials.
Rethink your shapes and images
Once you’ve decided to change the visual elements of your brand, think about changing the shapes and images so that everything is consistent. Also, make sure your images and shapes support your brand message.
Benefits of rebranding
New audience, higher communication, improved brand recognition, improved Google ranking, simple teamwork
Let’s review the benefits you can get with a successful branding strategy.
The main advantage of rebranding is the opportunity to reach new audiences. If you focus on your company’s mission, vision, and values and communicate them properly, people will notice.
Rebranding allows you to keep your company up-to-date. Regardless of the age of your brand, it must always remain relevant. Companies need to move quickly and follow new marketing trends to keep pace. As you know, design trends play an important role in the customer’s perception of your brand and the products you offer. Ensuring that you are always up-to-date will help you gain the trust and confidence of your customers towards the best brand.
Improve brand recognition
Commercializing your brand through a real story or video during rebranding will keep your company in the minds of your customers. Research shows that customers are more likely to engage with a company that provides an experience, matches their opinions, or evokes certain emotions.
Improve Google ranking
Considering the fact that SEO has the second highest return on investment after email marketing, investing in your company to build a strong brand is the right decision. If customers engage with and recognize your new brand, rest assured that Google will appreciate your efforts. For example: After serious branding, Neil Patel’s website traffic went from 240,839 to 454,382 users within a few months.
If your company does not have a clear mission, vision, and strategy, you have the opportunity to rebuild them according to your needs. This structural clarity is critical to improving your business performance: hiring the right employees and assigning them precise tasks, managing company activities, and making sound business decisions.
Disadvantages of switching brands
Knowing the positives of a branding campaign is essential. In addition, it is important to know in what situations you should consider this risky move.
People may disagree on many things these days, but there is one thing everyone has in common on some level. No one likes to go through changing conditions because change creates uncertainty. Selling goods and services is easier when people know with certainty what the outcome will be. When you change your message after consumers have gotten used to older conversion efforts, they can be just as easily confused as they can be encouraged by the process. You need to work on rebranding to make it a positive experience. Without communication, you will only create confusion.
It can cause you to lose customers.
Some people just love change so much that they decide to stop trading when faced with their favorite brands. Rebranding always carries the risk of losing customers. Even if you do everything right in this transition process, there will still be people who decide that your new value proposition isn’t what they want in their lives. You may have very good reasons to focus on rebranding, but you can also convince people that the changes are an update to your values that some customers may find objectionable.
About 75% of people create their identity through the brands they use or follow in life. If you decide to go through the process of rebranding, then you are literally changing a person’s perception of themselves.
Need to spend money
Going through a rebranding process as an organization is never cheap. You should be prepared to pay for any element that needs updating. There are always some ways to save money in the process, but you will still incur significant costs in changing graphic designs, adding new content, and creating a new ad campaign. That’s why you need to be clear about your goals for this process
A lot of research is required before starting the process
In 2010, Gap decided to make a renewed effort to create a brand to stand out from the rest of the retail competition. Instead of communicating these changes to the general public, the company’s graphics and appearance changed seemingly overnight. Instead of using their blue block from decades ago, they used pen, color and gradient to create a new look. The big block turned into a small square.
The company spent more than $100 million after implementing a rebranding effort as a way to save money. There was so much negative feedback from this effort that the old logo was reinstated after just six days. Unless you take the time to research what your customers want, you could end up in a similar situation in the future.
There is a reason you decide to go through the process of rebranding. Your customers will understand that there are more motivations than a simple change in your vision, message or vision. Your graphics may need to be modernized because your company has been in business for so long that the original images become outdated. Unless your customers have clear guidance as to why this update is necessary, there is a high chance that they will treat your organization with suspicion. This result can lead to negative feedback and review even if the transaction is not done.
Examples of Rebranding
Dunkin’ Donuts, Airbnb, Starbucks, Dropbox, Co-op, Coty Inc.
Companies take risks when rebranding. However, if implemented correctly, it can help your business grow.
2019 marked the year Dunkin’ Donuts considered a redesign. The brand came up with a new logo that dropped the word “Donuts”.
According to the company’s chief marketing officer, they refreshed their logo to put more emphasis on coffee, other beverages and sandwiches. However, the brand still uses the same color palette and iconic font to maintain brand awareness among customers.
Founded in 2008, this world-renowned company did a redesign that worked. The management of the company decided to fundamentally change the perception of the brand. They used different color palettes, typography and a new logo. Airbnb received a lot of negative comments on social media, but eventually, audiences accepted the company’s move. As a result, Airbnb has a contemporary and attractive identity.
This multinational chain of coffee houses and confectioneries has changed its logo several times since its founding in 1971. Let’s check out the newest Starbucks brand in 2011.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Starbucks team decided to introduce a new logo. They dropped the letters from the logo and gave space to the image of a mermaid and introduced a new identity to their consumers.
Whether your brand needs a refresh or a complete overhaul, rebranding is essential to creating the right perception. It allows you to create a completely new visual identity for your business to achieve different goals, such as: reaching new customers, improving brand awareness, increasing Google rankings, and more.